Social Policy and Justice for Children
Empirical evidence clearly shows that child poverty is a growing concern in the industrialized world and that the well-being of children is deeply affected by growing up in poverty in at least two ways. On the one hand, a low socioeconomic status jeopardizes the access to goods and services that are necessary for the current well-being of children. On the other hand, growing up in poverty also, in various ways, negatively affects the well-being in later life. On the basis of the capability approach, we will show that the systematic protection and advancement of the well-being of children, and hence the reduction of child poverty, is a key task of social justice, which should therefore guide policy design and implementation. However, we will also discuss the special composition of the well-being of children and point out how it poses difficulties for state action in this regard. In particular, we will argue that the importance of love and affection for a child’s well-being limits considerably the possible political measures to provide fair life chances to all children. This again reflects the insight that poverty should not be reduced to economic inequality.
KeywordsSocial Policy Social Justice Moral Responsibility Capability Approach Child Poverty
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